AAJA-Philadelphia Elections

AAJA Philadelphia LogoThe AAJA-Philadelphia chapter will be having elections this month for its board members. Board positions will be two-year terms — from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015.


  • By Oct. 15: If you are interested in a position, please submit your name and desired position to Murali Balaji, our former chapter president and current board adviser, who will be coordinating the elections and serving as our third-party elections monitor. His e-mail is murali.balaji@gmail.com.
  • Around Oct. 22, we will send an e-mail out announcing who is running for what position.
  • Oct. 29 will be the deadline for voting. (Full members and student members can vote.)
  • By Nov. 1: Winners will be announced.

To run for a board position, you need to be a paid AAJA-Philly full member (or an associate member, for the treasurer position).


  • President (Current – Julie Shaw, Philadelphia Daily News reporter)

The president is the main person who sets the chapter’s agenda and goals for the year. Duties could include reaching out to new and current members, organizing or helping to organize events (including “learning workshops” or panel discussions, networking/social activities, and fundraisers). As one of the main points of contact with AAJA National, the president may have to fulfill requests by AAJA National or from other chapters. The president may also be asked to speak at events and to reach out to community groups to fortify our relations with the community. The president is required to attend the national AAJA (or UNITY) convention, and to be present on chapter-president conference calls about three times a year. Mostly, the president needs to keep this chapter’s engine running so the group can continue to be a resource and support network for Asian American journalists in the area.

  • Treasurer (Current – Michelle Lee, freelance reporter)

The AAJA treasurer is in charge of the chapter’s financial business. The treasurer creates an annual budget for the chapter’s activities, maintains accounting records and submits financial reports to the AAJA national office. The treasurer is also involved in reaching out to members and organizing chapter events. The treasurer is required to attend the AAJA/UNITY national convention and be present during treasurer conference calls.

  • National Advisory Board Representative (Current – Juliana Reyes, Technical.ly Philly reporter)

This person serves as the chapter’s advocate on the National Advisory Board. It requires attending two meetings a year — one at AAJA’s headquarters in San Francisco or elsewhere in late February/early March and one during the national convention — as well as working with fellow national board members on different issues. Board members have to join a committee on the national board (committees include governance, programming, membership, finance and social media) and have to participate in discussions focused on relevant committee topics. Board members are also required to participate in convention planning.

  • Secretary (Current – Yowei Shaw, freelance radio reporter/producer)

The secretary will take minutes at board meetings and some chapter meetings, and will write up the minutes and send them to the board members.


  • Social Media Director (Current – Michelle T. Shinseki, KidsHealth.org, chief content officer and editorial director)

The social media director of the AAJA-Philadelphia chapter is the main point of contact for the publication and maintenance of its WordPress-based site, https://aajaphiladelphia.wordpress.com/. Additional responsibilities include: coordinating new posts with other AAJA social media channels, including the listserv, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; encouraging chapter members to use social media for professional connections and advancement; optimizing social media channels for recruitment, PR, and other objectives of the AAJA-Philadelphia chapter; helping board members with other chapter initiatives, etc.

  • Mentorship Program Director  (Current – Yowei Shaw, freelance radio reporter/producer)

The mentorship program director will pair interested chapter members together for a year-long mentorship to support professional development. The director will also check in with mentorship pairs throughout the year and host events to facilitate building relationships and skills in the chapter.

  • Student Outreach Coordinator (Current – Rikki N. Massand, US1 Publishing Co.)

The student outreach coordinator will reach out to our current student members to get them more involved with the chapter and find out their needs, and will seek to increase membership at the local universities, such as, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple, Drexel and La Salle. This person will also promote our Vijaya L. Balaji Scholarship to local colleges and will coordinate the interview process.

  • Fundraising Director

We are seeking someone who can spearhead one major fundraising event a year. Fundraising is important because this is how we offer scholarships to students or young professionals to attend the national convention, and it is how we have operating funds to pay for supplies/food for big chapter events throughout the year. This person would also be charged with seeking out other fundraising opportunities throughout the year — such as, reaching out to compatible individuals who, or organizations that, could be possible donors to our chapter.